Contaminated Land Case

Excavated soil and end of waste status

In Case C-238/21 Porr Bau GmbH, the CJEU considered the application of the tests of a by-product and end-of-waste under the Waste Framework Directive to uncontaminated excavated soil provided by a construction company to farmers in Austria for soil improvement.  The Austrian authorities classified the soil as waste and found that end-of-waste status had not been achieved.  The Court found that it was contrary to the Directive to classify excavated soil as waste where the holder did not intend nor was required to discard it and where the materials met the criteria under the Directive to be a by-product.  It was for the national court to decide whether the soil constituted a “burden” to the produced, indicating it was waste, and whether criteria as a by-product, such as the lack of need for any further processing or treatment before use, were met.  Evidence such as commitment from farmers to take the material was relevant.  Imposing additional requirements under national law was contrary to the Directive and would impede progress towards implementing the waste hierarchy.

Contaminated Land para. reference: 22-06